Man arrested in Indianapolis home invasion; 85-year-old victim unharmed

Virginia Duncan
Published: .
Updated: .

An 85-year-old year woman survived an early morning home invasion. Not only was she able to escape, but she helped police find the suspect.

Virginia Duncan thought her grandson was at the door. It ended up being a man planning to rob her. He eventually ended up at an ATM, where two quick-thinking police officers arrested him.

Duncan still maintains her independence. She lives next door to her family, who keep an eye out for her. They help her with things like groceries and keeping up the house.

Police say 33-year-old Matthew Ellis forced his way into her home, robbed her of cash, a television and stole her car. He also demanded her bank card PIN.

"He asked me for the PIN number and I gave him the wrong one," said Virginia. "He put me in the basement. The basement door was locked at the top but I didn't have the one down below. I could unlock it from the inside. So I came out there and went [next door]."

Duncan used her side door to go next door to her grandson's home. Her grandson, Nathan Duncan, was in the shower and dressed quickly to come to his grandmother's aid. After realizing she was not hurt and calling 911, he decided to drive around to nearby ATMs to see if he could spot her car.

It just so happens that Indianapolis Metro Police Officers Anthony Patterson and Greg Milburn started their day shifts and had just finished at roll call.

When they heard the call on the radio they took note of the good description of the suspect called in by Metro Officer Sonya Daggy right away. That lead to a department wide BOLO (Be On the Look Out) of the suspect and the victim's car.

Patterson and Milburn decided to keep an eye on a parking lot drive up ATM at the corner of East 25th St. and Sherman Ave.

"To think that you target someone because they are elderly or weak, it's extra motivation to go after these guys," said Officer Greg Milburn. "Today we just happened to have an extra five officers on staff and that extra help allowed us to be go-getters."

Milburn parked his cruiser in a church parking lot across the street and Patterson was not too far in another direction. They soon noticed Duncan's stolen car pull up to the ATM.

The officers arrested Matthew Ellis as he was trying to make a withdrawal with the stolen bank card. Ellis reportedly admitted to also ditching Duncan's television taken in the home invasion. Officer Milburn says they were able to recover the television within a few minutes several blocks away from the arrest location.

Virginia Duncan's grandson Nathan is not only relieved that Ellis is custody. He is really impressed how fast it happened.

"We got a call that there was an arrest about 15 minutes after we called 911," said Nathan Duncan. "That's pretty amazing and I thank all of them, the detective and the officers."

"I put myself in the family's position. I often think to myself what if it was my mother or grandmother, I would want the same type of result," said Officer Anthony Patterson.